Despite being one of the slower weeks during a short session, due to the February 14th deadline for bills to have had a work session, it wasn’t without some interesting action. But, first the procedural details.
Since the beginning of the session, a total of 271 measures/bills have been introduced. After the first session deadline, 217 of those measures are still alive.
80% of the total number of bills introduced are still under consideration. So far, only 54 measures have died.
Of the dead bills, 20 were Senate bills and 34 were House bills. To read through the list of Senate measures that died, click here. To read through the House measures that died, click here.
A number of big topics for this session come with impacts to Oregon’s budget, and therefore must be evaluated by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means (AKA the budget committee) before heading to the House or Senate floors for a vote. Chamber deadlines for public hearings and work sessions do not apply to the budget committee.
So far, the Senate has referred 38 bills to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. The House has referred 47 bills to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
The most significant pieces are related to workforce, the Governor’s $200 million request for “Future Ready Oregon” (SB 1545) and a $100 million childcare investment (HB 4005).
Farmworker overtime (HB 4002) remains one of the most contentious pieces of legislation. Proposals to move the threshold to 50 hours (from 40) are under negotiation, however, opponents of the bill are in a tight spot. If the legislature doesn’t pass a bill the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), headed by former Representative (and current candidate for CD4) Val Hoyle, could address the issue through rule-making and potentially draft something opponents dislike far more than HB 4002.
HB 4002 has had multiple public hearings, a rally was held by supporters on Tuesday this week, and House Republican leadership spent time meeting with House Speaker Rayfield during Tuesday’s floor session. House Republicans are not allowing rules suspension, which causes all bills to be read in full prior to a vote, and slows down the ability to move the large number of bills before them. It’s a familiar strategy to slow things down and pull people to the negotiating table.
To see bills that ORC3S is tracking click here.